Pi­lot re­flects on the cause

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Erica Murree erica.murree@cnbtimes.com.au

BIGGEN­DEN pi­lot Tony El­liott has re­flected on what may have caused the fa­tal plane crash of recre­ational pi­lot Rob Pa­van at the week­end.

With wreck­age over such a large area, Mr El­liott said he could visu­alise the pi­lot cruis­ing along, maybe he had been 50 feet too low, and clipped the top of a tree and im­pacted the ground at high speed in what is called a Con­trol Flight Into Ter­rain (CFIT) ac­ci­dent.

“This is a com­mon cause of an ac­ci­dent, just like the one on Mt Goo­nane­man back in 1988,” he said.

“He would have flown over some hills but not got into the real rough ter­rain they call tiger coun­try that pi­lots by­pass.”

Mr El­liott said the crash oc­curred around Sex­ton near Woolooga.

“There is a lot of clear land there as well as a lot of lit­tle farms, so he would have had a place to land if he had en­gine trou­ble and then ra­dio for help,” he said.

“The ac­ci­dent was just one of those things.

“If the plane hadn’t crashed he would have been fly­ing over the top of Biggen­den 20 min­utes later.”

Mr El­liott said when the air­craft model Jabiru was men­tioned, peo­ple as­sumed the ac­ci­dent was en­gine fail­ure.

“There were prob­lems but the Jabiru fac­tory has worked hard the past few years to fix those prob­lems,” he said.

“If the pi­lot has en­gine trou­ble you are taught how to land safely.

“You may have dam­age to the plane but you nor­mally walk away from it.”

Mr El­liott has been fly­ing for 30 years and has had his pi­lot’s li­cence for the past few years.

He has only just come back from spend­ing time out at Roma learn­ing about en­gine fail­ure.

“I was taken through my paces with en­gine fail­ure at take-off and while fly­ing,” he said.

He said from all re­ports the pi­lot had flown this ter­rain many times and no doubt was aware of all pos­si­ble land­ings.

“He was on course, not lost or do­ing any­thing silly,” Mr El­liott said.

“Be­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced pi­lot, com­pli­ancy could have been an­other fac­tor.

“He was early into his flight – his mind may not have been fully switched on, may have been think­ing about the party he was go­ing to.”

MISS­ING PLANE: RACQ CareF­light crews joined the search for the miss­ing light air­craft found on Mon­day. Recre­ational pi­lot Rob Pa­van was killed in the crash.

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